Blog Tour, Author Interview, and Review: Ava and Pip by Carol Weston


Ava and Pip by Carol Weston

Age Range: 10 – 12 years

Grade Level: 5 – 7

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (March 4, 2014)

Series: None

Genre: Contemporary

Source: Publisher for tour via NetGalley

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

An endearing tween story about friendship, family, identity, and inspiration

Outgoing Ava loves her older sister, Pip, but can’t understand why Pip is so reserved and never seems to make friends with others. When Ava uses her writing talents to help her sister overcome her shyness, both girls learn the impact their words and stories can have on the world around them.


“Helping others helps you too’ is Weston’s essential message, and her story ably illustrates the point.” – Kirkus

“Family dynamics, friendship tangles, and finding one’s voice are among the topics Weston deftly juggles in this diary-style series debut… palindromes, similes, and a running emphasis on creative writing will excite readers. ” – Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

Carol Weston writes for kids, teens, and grown-ups and has been the advice columnist at Girls’ Life since 1994. Newsweek calls her a “Teen Dear Abby.” At Yale, she studied comp lit, graduating summa cum laude, and she and her family now live in NYC. You can visit her website at and her advice channel at Carol’s next book for kids is about AVA AND PIP.

Carol’s first book, GIRLTALK: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You (HarperCollins), has been in print since 1985, and is widely translated. Now in a fourth edition, it’s as sensible, encouraging, and “outstanding” (SLJ) as ever. Carol’s first novel was The Diary of Melanie Martin (Knopf). It’s about a traveling girl and her brother Matt the Brat. (Psst, their art teacher mom doesn’t know that their favorite museum game is Point Out the Naked People…) In the series, the family visits Italy, Spain, Holland, and NYC. 

Preorder  AVA AND PIP
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My Thoughts on Ava and Pip:

This is a story about one girl who is shy, and one who is not. They are sisters, and they are complete opposites. They get on each others nerves, but they look out for each other, too.

This book is delightful. I loved having Ava as a narrator. She is quirky (her whole family is quirky) and funny. Some of her one line zingers made me laugh out loud. I like that she isn’t perfect, and how she learns from her mistakes. I like her spunk and her bravery. I love that she never gives up on her sister, even when her own feelings get smushed.

With a great voice that’s packed with humor, Ava and Pip is educational and lighthearted. Highly recommended for shy kids, their siblings, and anyone that knows a shy kid.

Content: Clean



Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Interview with Carol Weston:

Q. If you could visit any time or place, when and where would you go?

A. When I was Ava’s age, I hadn’t left the United States. But after tenth grade, I spent the summer with a French family on the Experiment in International Living. I learned French and shepherded sheep and tasted truffles and thought: I have to keep traveling! I spent all of twelfth grade in Rennes, France on a program called School Year Abroad. In college, I learned Spanish and did a semester and graduate school in Madrid, Spain. I love languages and my first series for Knopf was all about a traveling ten-year-old girl who goes to Italy, Holland, Spain and New York. (The Diary of Melanie Martin). Even now, travel is my biggest extravagance. Not shoes. Not restaurants. Plane tickets.

If want to visit a place, I try to make it happen. Sicily is on the short list right now. I went to Peru last summer.

As for visiting a time, I like the present. But I miss my dad, so it would be pretty great to be a kid myself for a spell. To be ten would be just fine. Fifth grade worked for me. Maybe that’s why Ava Wren is also ten.

Q. If you could only read 3 books for the rest of your life, what would they be?

A. 1. Aesop’s Fables. Like Ava, I’m an Aesop fan. Each fable is so short, yet so full of things to think about.

2. Anna Karenina. Leo Tolstoy really is a gorgeous writer, and he tackles giant subjects. I’ve read the novel twice and I know it has a lot more to teach me.

3. The Bible. If I get only three books, the third might as well be jam-packed with stories. Besides, I love art museums and I think if I knew the Bible better, I’d get more out of some Renaissance paintings. Maybe it could be in French or Spanish, so I could read it more slowly.

Q. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

A. I was always a writer. When I learned how to write letters in cursive, I wrote about it in my diary. It’s true! When I was eight, writing was what I was writing about! Here, I just took this photo for you.

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in my early twenties and sold a few articles and essays to Seventeen and The New York Times. I thought: Okay, now I want to write a book. But about what?? Answer: About growing up. So far, Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You is my most popular book. It came out in 12 languages. Heck, here’s another photo for you.

Right now I’m so excited about Ava Wren, a girl with a diary who dares to dream of becoming a writer. I also like the way the book ends — though I won’t add any spoilers here. The second book works on two levels too. (Ava and Taco Cat is with my editor Steve Geck now.)

Want to know one of the great moments for a writer? When a single book or a big box of galleys (now called ARCs) comes your way. Your words, which you worked so hard on all by yourself in your room, are suddenly going to go public. It’s fun every time!

Q. What do you like to do in your free time?

A. I like to walk with friends and go to art museums and watch movies and go to plays and skim the paper and ski in the winter and hang out with my cat. I also enjoy reading novels and have been a member of the same book club for 22 years. I love being with my family and I love parties.

Q. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A. Mocha chip. But any ice cream with chips will do. I also like Rum Raisin. I like my ice cream to have things in it: chocolate, nuts, cherries, raisins.

Q. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

A. Wow. Can I get the whole world to get along? I’ve been an advice columnist for girls for 20 years (“Dear Carol” at Girls’ Life), but even good advice goes only so far. World peace and justice for all, please. Thank you.

What a great interview!  Thanks Carol, for the pictures and all the great answers to my questions!  I love your book choices and your diary entry is SO CUTE.  
To find Carol Weston’s book, Ava and Pip, click on one of the links below:

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble 

You’re Invited!

Mar 4 6 p.m. Corner Bookstore NYC
Mar 9 2 p.m. BookCourt Brooklyn
Mar 11 5:30 p.m. New York Society Library
Mar 21 10:30 a.m. Politics and Prose DC
Mar 29 2 p.m. Watchung Montclair
April 5 2:30 p.m. BankStreet NYC
April 13 2 p.m. Thurber Center Col’s OH
April 14 6 p.m. Lennox B&N Col’s OH
April 23 6:30 Wild Rumpus MN…

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  • Reply
    Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
    February 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for this introduction. The cover art is reminiscent of a Ramona book, but the content sounds unique and fresh. Looking forward to introducing my 9-year-old daughter to Carol's work!
    Write Kids' Books

    • Reply
      February 22, 2014 at 3:27 am

      I hope she likes it! You are right about it being fresh. I haven't read anything else like this for a very long time.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I love the premise of the book but too bad the cover conveys a younger audience than its intended one. Thanks for linking up to the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Mia from PragmaticMom

    • Reply
      February 22, 2014 at 3:28 am

      You're right! I expected it to be for a younger audience too. It's funny how that happens.

  • Reply
    Jenny H
    February 22, 2014 at 4:53 am

    Loved the author interview. Will have to keep this one in mind as my girls grow. Hopping over from the blog hop.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Youth Literature Reviews
    February 25, 2014 at 12:04 am

    This looks like a lot of fun! I love stories about sisters who are total opposites.
    Thanks for sharing with the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

    • Reply
      Carol Weston
      March 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you all for reading this blog and being interested in my brand new book. Much appreciated!

    • Reply
      March 15, 2014 at 1:22 am

      It's really fun! I love the sisterhood dynamic of it. I hope you like it!

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